It's a lifeline to the Hi Line. When you look at how important agriculture is to our economy, especially across the northern tier of Montana all along Highway 2, you also need to look at how important irrigation is to the farmers and ranchers.

That's why the news of the catastrophic failure of Drop 5 on the St. Mary Milk River Project was such a big deal.

Earlier this week, Montana's Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) brought a senior Trump Administration official to the state to inspect the project first-hand. Dr. Tim Petty is the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the US Department of Interior. He traveled to Cut Bank, Montana along with Senator Daines before meeting with US Geological Survey employees in Bozeman.

Senator Daines spoke of the importance of the St. Mary Project in a press release following the visit:

It is devastating to see such destruction that has completely stopped flows to the Milk River, which thousands of Montanans rely on. Now more than ever, we need our agency partners to be doing all they can to reduce red tape and ensure reconstruction can go forth as smoothly and quickly as possible. That’s why I led this meeting today and won’t stop fighting in Congress to get the funding and resources needed to repair the system and ensure this never happens again.

I also was able to catch up with Assistant Secretary Petty during Tuesday's "Montana Talks" radio show. Check out our full conversation below: